The NHL is a tough place to play. It’s a game of intimidation whether the goons are playing or not. Although today's game is not quite the open brawl it was in decades past, it features new dangers. In the past, hockey was a smoother but slower game. Players would use more east-west skating, there were more mistakes, and a more free-flow of play. Today’s NHL however, features highly refined genetic freaks on skates. The year-round training and increased size/speed means we have massive athletes rocketing down the ice towards each other like bowling balls. After the crackdown on obstruction, players were allowed to pick up speed like never before, increasing the danger. Increased awareness of concussions has finally come and the NHL is trying to protect their players more than ever. But there is a line of physicality and dirty/dangerous play that is constantly walked.
But that's just the physical side of things. Competitive sport is also an emotional and mental experience as well. High stakes and year-long efforts result in glorious wins or bitter defeat. Not all players (or fans) handle competition gracefully. It's not difficult to be a gracious winner, but it's much harder to lose like a gentlemen.
I’m not saying anyone who gets hurt is a CB (crybaby), of course not! It’s the players that can’t quite handle the competition and losing; that’s who we are skewering today. It also seems like the players who whine the most are the ones who play the dirtiest. It’s a mad mad world I tells ya.
So grab a block of cheese from the fridge as we check out the finest whines from the biggest babies in the land.
Homers are fans/broadcasters that are grotesquely partial to their team yet are blind to it.
Homers cry after every single penalty to their team and constantly scream for a penalty any time their players lose the puck or are physically touched. Their personal life takes a nosedive when their team is knocked out of the playoffs and they rub their team's flag in your face when they win. There are certain words and events you are not allowed to bring up around them for fear of a full-blown cryfest.
Come on homers! It’s time to evolve into a hardcore knowledgable fan. Oh wait, but then who will buy all those ugly third jerseys?
14 Head Coaches
Coaches are much like homers. You might argue that they’re paid to be that way. But however you slice it, they still spend too much time crying to the refs and throwing tantrums. Grown men with mustaches stomping around and crying to zebras on skates. It’s quite the site for a multi-million dollar professional industry.
I don’t understand why the refs bother to talk to the angry coaches. They’re not going to reverse the call. It’s like your drunk uncle at a wedding calling you over to pass out life advice. ‘That's great, Uncle Quennville, sure, I’ll remember that for next time".
I prefer a stoic, quiet coach.
13 Non-fans (that share the TV)
Non-fans just don’t get it. They don’t understand why we follow 82 regular season games, an even more important postseason, and an incredibly interesting offseason of drafts and trades.
I had to explain to my girlfriend that we couldn’t go camping because my team was on a deep playoff run. I told her I would go camping at any other point in the year, any other year frankly, just not this moment in time!
Three lockouts since the 90’s? Come on guys get it together. If a lockout is all about money then obviously it should be a top priority to avoid having so many revenue killing stoppages. Each lockout also kills the league's momentum and damages the fans' relationship with the league. Yet we still hear them both squabbling over the millions.
The real problem is the GMs competing with each other over players and raising their salaries to ridiculous levels. It seems like anyone who plays a few seasons is guaranteed at least $4 million now. The salary cap is not rising fast enough to accommodate, and you wonder how a roster will be filled out in a few years time.
Of course then we’ll have them whining about another lockout that they caused and the fans will miss out another year of paying ridiculous ticket prices.
11 Twitter fans
There’s something about social media and the internet that allows for easier whining (a bit like me with this article). Not having to say it to a player’s face allows the Twitterverse to spew some pretty terrible things. Jimmy Kimmel has a great feature of celebrities and athletes reading ‘mean tweets’ about themselves. It’s a great social experiment and will hopefully build some empathy among the brutal TwitterTrolls.
Alongside the vicious insults hurled out. Twitter is also a free platform for anyone who has ever been offended about anything that’s ever happened or been said in the NHL (and beyond). Evander Kane posts a funny pic? Twitter blows up with ’purists’ hating all over this guy. Yet they also complain that the NHL is boring and needs more personality.
Stop the trolling you whiners!
10 Boston Ownership this year
Jeez, this core gave you a Stanley Cup and another Finals appearance, could you cut them some slack? All year long we’ve heard the ownersship make media statements about the Bruins and their mediocre play this year. They've made numerous threats to the team about missing the playoffs, and followed through when they fired GM Peter Chiarelli after failing to qualify.
Chiarelli DID trade away Sequin for spare parts, but there is also video evidence of an entire Boston management room making this decision together. And to be fair, they had already won a Cup with their two top centers, so why fix what didn't appear broken? Boston also suffered crippling injuries to key players this season.
The Boychuck trade for cap space was also hard to swallow, but it's become a reality of the cap era for successful teams.
And of course the owners can fire whomever they want, but do us (and your team) a favor and keep the whining out of the media.
Need more proof? Owner Jeremy Jacobs was one of the hard-line owners in the most recent lockout despite his big market Bruins doing just fine.
9 John Tortorella
Not in the NHL currently (partly due to his behavior of course), but a crybaby alumni.
While with the Rangers, Torts was constantly crying about Malkin, Crosby, and the Penguins. More recently in Vancouver he blasted his own team for being “stale”. He embarrassed the organization further when his meltdown temper tantrum got him suspended.
After one season from hell with Torts, the Canucks made a coaching change and now look like a completely different team. They smile, they compete, they win, and they’re in the playoffs. Looks like the team wasn’t the problem at all. It looks like a certain coaching style might be ‘stale’.
8 Sidney Crosby (he's come a long way)
Crosby himself admitted that in his first few years he “gave the refs a hard time”. As he’s matured he has gotten away from most of the whining he did. However, he is still the captain of the whiniest team in hockey. He still dives and although it’s toned down, he still shoots the refs pleading looks and is in their ear about calls.
It also could be his face. Some people have a face that seems familiar, others have a face that always looks angry. Crosby might just have that whiney face.
Then it’s just genetics and there’s nothing we can do about it.
7 The Pittsburgh Penguins
Even their assistant GM Bill Guerin agrees!
Guerin is almost Pittsburgh royalty at this point. He was the key trade-deadline acquisition before the Crosby era’s only Stanley Cup win. Now he helps the organization off the ice as an assistant general manager. And perhaps it’s because he was on the ice just a few years ago that he agreed with some recent criticism directed towards his players.
On Hockey Central at Noon, Doug Maclean told Guerin he thought the Penguins were “whiny” and that it affected their chances at making the playoffs.
Maybe Guerin felt like the young buck being chastised by an older ex-GM, but Guerin chuckled slightly before agreeing with him. Guerin said “it’s definitely an area that we’ve identified as being an issue at times.”
Pretty bad when your own management can’t defend your whining.
6 Ryan Kesler
Ryan Kesler gained a reputation for diving and whining when he played on the biggest stage of them all. During the Vacouver-Boston Stanley Cup Final, Kesler and the whole Canuck team quickly became one of the league’s most hated teams (pretty impressive when you’re playing the Bruins).
Kesler led the charge with head snaps, dives, and constant dirty looks to the referee for calls. It had the opposite effect as you could feel the referees becoming irritated with the behavior.
He then became one of the most hated players in his own city when he demanded a trade out of town. A disastrous season with Tortorella as head coach was enough for Kesler to quickly flee what he thought of as a sinking ship. To make things worse, he absolutely handcuffed new GM Jim Benning by deeming just a few teams worthy of his services.
No. 17 is now in California where he and Corey Perry can combine their sour grapes to cultivate their very own ‘whine’ region.
5 Corey Perry
Corey Perry is the prototypical ‘love him on your team, hate him when he’s not’. He is a rare combination of size, hands, and compete-level and plays with a ferocious edge that some call dirty. What really pisses people off though is how Perry dishes it out, but definitely doesn’t like taking it back. Perry loses his cool when the tiniest bit of flak comes back at him. If he ever dealt with the same amount of crap that he himself dishes out, he might actually quit the NHL.
4 P.K. Subban
Sports Illustrated once called him hockey’s “most hated” player (take that as you will).
Subban is very animated and never afraid to voice his opinion. In the ultra modest NHL his style gets noticed quickly. Throw in the fact that he’s an extremely talented offensive defenceman performing figure skating spinoramas around the ice and you attract quite a bit of attention. Throw a contract hold-out on top of it all and see how the public reacts.
Age hasn’t muted his character one bit. In Game 1 of this year’s playoffs Subban delivered a hefty wack to Senator Mark Stone’s wrist, giving him a micro-fracture in the process. When ejected from the game he threw an impressive tantrum for all to see.
It’s funny that if Subban broke a Russian’s wrist in the 1972 Summit Series (the way Bobby Clarke did an ankle), some would regard him a national hero.
3 Craig Berube
Berube loves to whine about whiners, and his favorite subjects for a time were Crosby, Malkin and the rest of the Penguins.
After a 70’s style line brawl between the Flyers and Penguins, Berube had plenty to say about Pittsburgh’s top stars.
“Crosby and Malkin are the two dirtiest players on their hockey team. They slash, they punch guys in the face…”
This is coming from a coach of the FLYERS. One of the most physical teams in the history of hockey.
You can understand where Berube is coming from as he accuses the duo of dirty play and a lack of toughness, but it still comes off as a big cry-fest
2 Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk
You know those commercials for abused pets or starving children? Lots of slow motion, evoking sympathy for a good charitable cause? I think Melnyk would love to have one of those for his team in Ottawa. All we hear from this guy is how hard it is to operate a team in Canada’s capital.
Melnyk complained on sports radio that Ottawa’s biggest employers (the Federal and Municipal Government) are not allowed to buy tickets for their employees. Boo hoo, you have to rely on actual hockey fans buying tickets instead of corporate giveaways to people who couldn't care less about the team.
The arena has been criticized for being hard to reach outside the downtown core, but conversely, Melnyk has been criticized for constantly trading away star players to save money.
Move the team downtown and stop whining please.
1 Milan Lucic
If you haven’t seen the greatest NHL fight video in history, please do so now. This video represents everything about Lucic that puts him here. He chases after a player, cheap shots him from behind and attempts to bully him. When the player sticks up for himself and enters into the fight that Lucic has clearly been asking for, the real fun begins. Lucic gets exactly what he deserved with the all-time sweetest knockout punch.
Of course Lucic was immediately livid. How dare anyone actually punch him back? He didn’t leave his whining on the ice of course. He had to make huge stink about it to the reporters. Hilarious as Lucic previously whined that certain Montreal Canadiens had discussed off-ice the crazy threats Lucic directed towards them in a handshake line. The handshake line being the utmost symbol of respect and a proud part of the NHL's heritage. Entrenched in tradition, and no matter how bad it feels to lose, players suck it up and shake hands. The handshake line starts in youth hockey to help kids grow up and learn to lose. Lucic shows it doesn’t work 100% of the time.
These are just a few examples of the Boston Crab, but to delve any deeper could seriously hurt my psyche. So I choose to say goodbye and go play outside.